I wanted to see for myself just how much boneless chicken breast I’m really buying for my money after all the fat is cut off the poultry. It’s a bit of an eye-opener.

Over the summer, I bought a large package of boneless chicken breast and it was ultra-fatty, which meant I cut half of it away! (My family can’t tolerate even a speck of fat on their chicken!) So, if I pay $1.99 (on sale) per lb. for a 3-lb. package of boneless chicken, I should be paying $6.00 for three solid pounds of chicken. No, it doesn’t quite work that way. On average, I cut off about a pound of fat (that includes all that odd and unidentifiable cartilage that’s inedible). Then, it’s really $6.00 for 2-lbs. of chicken, making it $3.00 a pound. Not such a great sale now, right?

chicken fat

Not too pretty a sight, sorry folks. Here’s the chicken I bought in the summer: The plate on the right contains the fat trimmed from the boneless chicken breast that I cut into strips on the plate on the left. Nearly half of what I bought ended up in a scrap pile! (No I didn’t use it to make stock….).

Sometimes, it pays to buy already-trimmed and expensive chicken if there is no sale on untrimmed boneless. I discovered this when I had to unexpectedly pick up some chicken breast for a friend to grill on the boat. Not like you can cut fat off chicken breasts on a rocking boat! Luckily I had coupons on me to buy Perdue Perfect Portions (seriously perfect with not a speck of fat) that were on sale. So I bought two 1-1/2 lb. packages at $3.99 each. The math: 3 lbs. for $8.00, or $2.66 a pound. Not too bad if there’s no sale on anything else.

before trim

Tonight: Here’s my 3-lb. package of boneless chicken before trimming the fat. This package wasn’t half as fatty as the one above.

chicken trimmed

Nearly a pound of fat trimmed from this package of chicken. (I even cut off more after this photo was taken. I then sliced through each piece to make thinner slices for breaded cutlets.)

The bottom line: that great sale on untrimmed boneless chicken breast may not be that great, but it’s even worse when you buy the chicken when it’s NOT on sale!

If I’m totally off the mark, please let me know!

Bon Appetit!

~Marilyn, TFF

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7 thoughts on “How Many Pounds of Boneless Chicken Do You Really Get for Your Money? (Not meant for the queasy…)

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:38 am
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    i really love the taste of chicken, i always use it on my own chicken salad recipe.,

  • January 4, 2013 at 9:48 am
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    I was reading your site/blog this morning and noticed the piece about “actual weight” of chicken (by the way, ugh on the pix). I was JUST HAVING THIS CONVERSATION YESTERDAY WITH A GIRLFRIEND. Crazy. Yes, the “sale” chicken is poorly butchered and way fattier. However, I get that chicken and marinate it with olive oil, garlic, kosher salt, pepper and lemon juice and stick it in the freezer. One time I bought a whole cart full and did a marinating party with two friends (btw, anybody pushing a cart full of only chicken looks suspicious. I even scared myself). Anyway, we defrost it when we are ready to grill. And, in my opinion, having all the fatty stuff on there, which I cut off as I eat, actually makes for a tastier marinated/grilled piece of chicken (boneless breasts can really dry out on the grill). So yes, it gets cut off eventually, but serves a cooking/flavor purpose.

    • January 4, 2013 at 10:54 am
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      Hi Nicole, Ooooooh, I have to try that idea this summer on the grill! Sounds like a*great * idea!!!!! (Hey, sorry about the pix! LOL!) ~Marilyn, TFF

  • December 4, 2012 at 8:38 am
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    I am looking at the 2 side by side plates and it seems that you aren’t just trimming what you are calling fat off of the BSCB. The yellow bits are fat, the silvery white are tendons (both of which I’d try to trim off as well), the remaining beigy-peach is acutally MEAT. I see an awful lot of meat that you are tossing away. A suggestion for your family that can tolerate a speck of fat of BSCB is to place the trimmed pieces (without the silvery tendons) in a food processor and make ground chicken for meatballs, patties, tacos etc. Probably will have lower fat quantity than in prepackaged ground chicken. Not trying to be snarky, but it appears that you are wasting alot of meat.

    • December 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm
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      Hi Carol, Seriously, look closer–it’s disgusting! The stuff I cut off I’d never use (except shoulda, coulda used for stock). The beigy-peach stuff is either yuck on the bottom or sides or something is not quite right with that piece–oftentimes it’s something veining through the piece that’s gross. They really are not edible pieces of meat regardless of the deceiving color ;–) I’d never throw away meat that could be made into chicken salad or small nuggets. Trust me LOL :–) ~Marilyn, TFF

  • December 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm
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    I buy the same on-sale chicken cutlets as you do, but i don’t trim them as fine as you do. Chicken fat is used in a lot of Jewish-styled cooking. The extra pieces, I boil and it makes a great chicken stock. (you can skim off the fat after the broth cools) I then feed those boiled cut up pieces as part of my dogs meal (as a treat). I really don’t think I am wasting anything.
    I also buy flash frozen chicken breasts from Aldi. I only take out what I need and there is very little fat. Comes to around $2.99 a pound and there is no waste.

    • December 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm
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      I have to get to Aldi’s again! Also, I buy chicken at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods when I can (ie: on sale!) and the waste isn’t as bad, thank goodness. Next time I will make broth, but of course do you know what I did–I tossed the fat tonight without thinking! LOL! ~Marilyn, TFF

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